Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jesse Goldstein

Second Advisor

Susan Bodnar-Deren

Third Advisor

Amanda Huron


The commodification of culture, space, and resources is incentivized by neoliberal urbanism. In response, we have seen an attempt to develop collectively organized, oppositional spaces within urban places. The tensions that arise when considering the production of commons in the development of the neoliberal city are the central focus of this paper. As I will observe, these spaces are subjected to commodification as they become increasingly de-politicized through neoliberal ideologies. In order to theorize about these contradictory elements, I observe a makerspace in Richmond, Virginia called HackRVA. Specifically, I consider HackRVA as an urban commons. Through in-depth interviews and participant observation, I consider how HackRVA engages with the neoliberal city of Richmond and how the organization and maintenance of their space and their community reflects commoning as social reproduction. I find that HackRVA’s relationship to the city is complicated as the community within the space both contests and assimilates to the creative economy.


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Date of Submission